Seaweeds and Eggs

Standard

IMG_20150210_093412_110   Seaweed is actually a sea vegetable. It has been used for thousands of years for it’s ability to prevent disease, prolong life, and for overall health and beauty. In biology and myth, it is the sea that all things begin and return to. We begin life in the womb in a saline solution.

Seaweeds are classed by color. Their particular color depends on the depth at which they grow, the tide, temperature, light exposure and region. They contain up to twenty times more mineral content than land plants, and are a source of vitamins and fiber. Each seaweed has it’s own nutrient profile as well.

Seaweeds are used for lowering cholesterol, reducing fat in the blood, and in weight-loss programs. Other uses include the reduction of inflammation, as a diuretic, and the treatment of cancer and fibroid tumors.

I received Paul Pitchford’s book; Healing with Whole Foods, as a gift from my wife this past Christmas. It is a vast resource of information such as presented here, along with uses and recipes as an addition to whole body health.

Due to the high salt content of seaweed, you may need to rinse or soak, before using it. I have been using the roasted, shredded Nori as an addition to soups and eggs, and enjoy the flavor as a hot tea. Mixed with a little garlic, ginger and cayenne, it is helpful in treating congestion, (Head cold). Nori has the highest protein content and is the most easily digested of the seaweeds.

IMG_20150210_074319_434  I am not sure how the thought popped into my ever wandering mind, but I added some Nori and garlic to scrambled eggs. The flavor was what I would describe as a seafood omelette. Not that it tasted fishy, but the sea salt, roasted flavor was good. An exotic twist to a spinach omelette if you will. Additions to this could easily be any variety of mushroom, chilies, onion, whatever you choose.

IMG_20150210_075230   For one serving, I used 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, 1/4 t minced garlic, and whisked it together along with approximately 1 1/2 Tablespoon crushed, shredded Nori. The Nori is easily crushed in the palm of your hand, as it is already dried. I only did this step so I did not have longer strands.

I poured the mixture into a skillet with olive oil, and cooked as I normally do my eggs.

IMG_20150209_073234    This was served with fresh tomato and was very good! As I mentioned, you could add many different ingredients and top with a sprinkling of cheese. Try adding some seaweed to an Asian style salad, stir-fry, soup, casserole or recipe of your choice.

In fitness, Bob

Recipe for Exercise

Standard

If you took some commitment, added in some perseverance and sweat, a dash of willingness, and then tossed it gently with your favorite goals, would you be happy with the outcome?

I would like your feedback on exercise. Don’t stop reading yet, I’m not asking for money. I know everyone in the blogging world puts their thoughts and/or ideas out to share, or to invoke an interest. That is what this is for me. This will take no more time than reading and replicating a recipe, so think of this as your recipe for exercise. As with all good recipes, please share this with your friends or reblog if you wish. Not everyone exercises, I get that. If you fall into that category,  please send me your families most guarded recipe. (Lasagna, cookies, pie, soup, you get the picture:)

Being relatively new to blogging and writing exercise prescriptions, I am looking for advice from my fellow bloggers and Facebook followers. What would your ideal recipe for exercise be? A recipe that you would make again, or commit yourself to. I have written a list of questions for my curiosity, but am also open to your personal creativity as well. I will be most grateful for your time and input.

Remember, this does not have to involve a gym or kitchen, you can exercise and cook outside. Just be careful to leave a safety zone around the grill. Of course I’m kidding, but seriously, be safe.

What do you do for exercise? Do you have a favorite routine or piece of equipment that you prefer? Is there an exercise or piece of equipment that you have always wanted to learn but for whatever reason have not? If you hired a Personal Trainer, what would you expect from him/her? Would you incorporate a guideline for your nutrition/eating habits? Would you dedicate a certain amount of time to working out, and if so how often? If you became comfortable with an exercise, would you be willing to try something different? You stayed with me this far, you might as well let me know what you think. Go ahead, I can take it.

Thank you, Bob

You can email your recipe to me at;  bob@guidancefitnesspt.com

Pineapple Coconut Smoothie

Standard

IMG_20141121_083252_991                                    I wanted to start my day off with a flavorful  and nutritious breakfast, as we all should. I had made my wife a bowl of Coco Wheats, with an addition of coconut flakes and a small amount of coconut oil. It was a very well rounded blend of macro nutrients. Oh yeah, and it tastes just like a Mounds bar. (She loves this and requested it!)

For my pineapple coconut smoothie I used a farm fresh, raw egg. Disclaimer: I am aware of the dangers and risks of salmonella and am not advising that anyone takes my choice to do so, as a prescription to do the same.  That being said, I also added;                              

     8 oz plain Greek yogurt                                                                  1 c fresh pineapple                                                                          2 Tbsp coconut flakes                                                                    1 Tbsp honey

All ingredients were put into the blender and swam together happily for about 30 seconds. This made approximately 20 oz of deliciousness.

IMG_20141121_084313_495

According to MyFitnessPal, which is an app that I use to monitor my calorie intake, this smoothie came out to be 394 calories; with 54 g carbs, 32 g protein, and 10 g fat. This is a good blend! I typically stay on the high side of the recommended protein intake, due to my exercise and martial arts routine. You could easily add 1/4 of a banana to this and increase the carbohydrate ratio. A sprinkling of cinnamon in your smoothie wouldn’t hurt to keep insulin spikes down as well.

In fitness, Bob

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Standard

IMG_20141030_084415_447  Happy Halloween to all! This season is full of the smell of leaves, candy apples, goblin cookies, popcorn balls and yes pumpkin.

We went to the farmer’s market last weekend to brouse through the squash, end of season tomatoes, apples and of course pumpkin. As is tradition, my stepson is allowed to pick the largest pumpkin he can carry, to be carved. This years choice was beautiful.

After the carving was finished, a fine job by the way, I was given the task of preparing the seeds for roasting. After separating the seeds from the pulp, I rinsed and drained them, and then soaked them overnight in salt water.

IMG_20141030_085336_208  This morning I drained them, spread them out on a cookie sheet, sprinkled them with ginger, wasabi powder and a little sugar and gave them a stir to coat evenly. Then into the oven at `200 for at least 2 hours.

IMG_20141030_083914_718  I have got to tell you that the smell of the ginger wafting through the house is fabulous! My father always preferred using Lowery’s Season Salt. Most people prefer just salt, and you can choose what you like. Maybe pumpkin pie spice would be appropriate? Some cinnamon and brown sugar perhaps?

Pumpkin seeds are a source of phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, and copper. There are also small amounts of zinc and iron as well as Vitamin E. Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, are also a good source of protein. Nutritionally, seeds are a great addition to the diet.

However you choose to enjoy them, they are a part of the fall season, with a healthy benefit.

In fitness, Bob

Chocolate please!

Standard

IMG_20141021_164239_405                                                                                                             The health benefits of chocolate are an excellent reason to indulge daily, not to mention the numerous ways that you can use it while cooking. In it’s purest form, it is bitter. It is only after a fermenting, roasting and mild sweetening, that the raw form of cacao becomes cocoa and then the luscious chocolate that we know and love.

Cacao is a bean the comes from the cacao tree. The beans are found inside football shaped pods that grow on the limbs and trunk of the tree.

Cocoa has been used medicinally for it’s health benefits throughout history. Even more recently it has been shown to decrease blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of stroke, and improve blood vessel health. Decreasing your LDL (bad),  and increasing your HDL (good) cholesterol level, helps improve your cardiovascular health. Cocoa is rich in flavonoids (antioxidants), which has also been found to lower the risk of diabetes.

Mood is elevated by the anti-depressant properties when an increase of dopamine and seratonin are released. No wonder marketing professionals make chocolate seem so seductive, It is!

Chocolate in it’s healthiest form has little to no sugar or added ingredients. When you buy chocolate for your health, try to stick to 70% dark or above.

IMG_20141021_164304_912                                                                                                            One of my favorite ways to indulge in 100% pure cocoa, is to mix 1/2 Tbsp into 8oz plain Greek yogurt, sprinkle in some cinnamon powder and sweeten lightly with honey or agave and serve. Sprinkle pure cocoa on top of banana slices, coated with  peanut butter for a snack. If you are looking for a way to change up a pot of red chili, try adding a couple tablespoons of cocoa in for some extreme depth. This goes well with a touch more heat from your choice of spicy seasoning as well.                                                                                   In fitness, Bob

Oven Roasted Spicy Chickpeas

Standard

This recipe is a great, healthy snack. Chickpeas, or Garbanzo beans, are a fantastic source of protein. Those of you with dairy (whey), or soy allergies, or anyone wanting an alternative to animal based protein may want to consider pea protein. It contains a well balanced profile of all the essential amino acids, particularly; arginine, lysine, and phenylalanine.

Chickpeas can be made into hummus, added to salads, mixed with vegetables or purchased as a protein powder and mixed into smoothies. The two brands I use for shakes are Now Sports or Truenutrition. These mix well and are less gritty than most. Pea protein digests well and leaves you without the ‘bloated‘ feeling that some lactose or gluten based proteins may cause. If you are looking for a fat free, cholesterol free, gluten free or vegan freindly substitute, this may be for you. IMG_20141014_102719_309

For this recipe I used (1) 29 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained and gently patted dry                                                                         2Tbs olive oil                                                                                      1tsp ground cumin                                                                             1tsp chili powder                                                                                  1/2tsp ancho powder (or substitute cayenne)                             1/2tsp sea salt

IMG_20141014_105807_919

Heat oven to 400F and place rack in the middle. put chickpeas in mixing bowl and gently toss with all remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a cookie sheet and bake until crisp, about 40 minutes, depending on desired crispness. Serve warm or at room temperature.

IMG_20141014_110009_345

Experiment with different variations. My next batch will be Ginger/Wasabi. From there I think I’ll try brown sugar and mustard, smoked paprika and chipotle….ah the joys of a large spice variety.

In fitness, Bob

Breakfast Matters

Standard

IMG_20140710_083331_603 (1)                                    Do you ever skip breakfast or grab something from a fast food place, only to be left unsatisfied or feeling ready for a nap within a few hours? You have heard it before and probably more than you wanted to. Breakfast matters! The fact is that your body needs fuel to recover from the nights rest you had and to prepare you to start your day. A good plan is to have some form of breakfast within a minimum of two hours after waking and preferably within the first thirty minutes.

You don’t want your body to start going into a starvation mode and eating muscle. When you start skipping meals, your brain tells your body to store food as fat as part of a self preservation strategy. Breakfast need not be elaborate, a certain percentage of your daily intake, (depending on your activity level or timing for a workout), or standard breakfast menu fare. Leftovers are fine as long as you have a healthy blend of macro nutrients. Just a hard boiled egg, banana or handful of trail mix first thing will give you an edge before you finish your breakfast.

IMG_20141124_074829_069

I recently discovered refrigerator oatmeal, or summer porridge as it is called. I stumbled upon it through theyummylife.com and am glad I did. The fact that oatmeal helps keep cholesterol levels in check and keeps you feeling fuller longer due to a high satiety level are bonuses.

Using a one pint canning jar with a plastic screw on lid or similar container makes this portable as well. These can be packed to work for breakfast, midday snack or a lunch alternative. The variations are limited only to your taste.

The use of steel cut oatmeal instead of rolled oats is a texture preference for me.  I add chia seed to these recipes since discovering that they are an excellent source of fiber, protein and omega 3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seed. Another healthy addition is PB2. This is powdered peanut butter without all the extra fats and sugar. I also sprinkle in ground cinnamon to help regulate blood sugar. (Grapefruit and sweet potato are good breakfast choices for low sugar spikes as well)

The first recipe I tried uses 3/4 c almond milk, 1/4 c steel cut oats (quick cook), 2 Tbs chia seed, 2 Tbs PB2, 1/2 banana (quartered), 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1 Tbs agave (or sweetener of your choice). Simply pour the milk into your jar, add the banana, oats, seeds, sweetener and shake. Put the lid on and refrigerate overnight. You can stir the fruit in after refrigeration if you prefer or even add more.

The other variation I have tried uses Qi’a seed, (chia, buckwheat, hemp), oatmeal, walnuts, pure maple syrup, almond milk and cinnamon. This one came out moister than I liked, but I think it was due to the lesser amount of chia seed. Chia expands to 16x it’s size. Next time I will cut the almond milk back 1/4 c.

For this recipe I mixed 3/4 c almond milk, 1/4 c steel cut oats, 2 Tbs chopped walnuts, 2 Tbs Qi’a seed mix, 2 Tbs pure maple syrup, and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon in the pint jar, shook and set in the fridge overnight. The flavor of this one was outstanding as a cold cereal. I like banana, however this one edged it out.

Try adding in some yogurt, fresh or dried fruit, nuts, sunflower seeds or a couple tablespoons of your favorite protein powder to switch it up. The key point is to start your day off fueled up. Pair this up with just five minutes of exercise and see what a difference it makes in your day. You will think clearer and feel less stressed.

In fitness, Bob

Good food

Standard

IMG_20140710_083331_603 (1) I started my morning off with 2 farm fresh eggs, (not store bought), 4 ozs. white chicken, 2 Tbsp. green chiles, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. I also had a pink grapefruit and a protein shake. This is not my daily a.m. meal however.

I was reading a post from fellow blogger Kelly Toups about living close to Whole Foods and thought I would share a similar story. Living in the “Cowtown” of Columbus, Ohio, I am fortunate to be able to drive ten minutes to the country. Fresh produce, fruit, eggs and other offerings are an easy find for me.

IMG_20140925_092024_015 My wife and I enjoy going to farmers markets, and scouting out bargains. Last weekend we scored on seconds, (blemished), of Honey Crisp apples, sweet corn, cabbage, and tomatoes. The apples don’t last the way I go through them but we can, vacuum pack and freeze, or dry whatever we possibly can. IMG_20140925_092907_855 It is interesting and sad to hear negative comments about blemished food that is perfectly good, nutritious and marked down significantly. Some people are turned off to think corn may have a worm or fruit might be bruised. I don’t know about you, but I carry a couple of my own battle scars. We however have no problem enjoying the bounty that fall has to offer. I came upon a miss-sized mushroom order once at a produce outlet and my wife and I learned how to can mushrooms. Not only did we save a bunch of money but we learned something.

I hope you have an opportunity to visit a road side stand or farmers market and pick up your own choices of fresh food. The flavor is accentuated when you become more involved in the process and accomplishment of designing your meal around your purchase.

In fitness, Bob

Chili Cook Off 2014

Standard

IMAG0911As promised, I have an update on the Ohio regional competition that I competed in this past weekend. The event was spread out over three days and included participants from the International Chili Society, non- profits such as the VFW, (who won an award by the way), and an amateur division that I was a entrant in.

IMG_20140826_102037_261Two years ago I first participated in this event sponsored by CaJohn’s Fiery Foods of Westerville, Ohio and took 1st place in the five state regional, amateur division. I had never been in a competition like this before and was unsure of what to expect. It was a fun time and I am met alot of great people. There were vendors of all sorts, a car show, activities for the kids, and of course a huge supply of various types of chili to be sampled. On the first day of this event, I entered a Chili Verde, which is green chili. Judging for the amateur division was done by peoples choice. You would purchase a tasting kit and cast your vote for your favorites. I walked away that day with 1st place! What an experience!

The following year, my step-father was in the hospital and I was unable to attend. I continued to make my chili occasionally for my family and holiday functions. My instructor at Dynamic Self Defense in New Albany, Ohio cannot get enough of this and requests it often, especially for belt testing at Christmas.

When asked if I would be participating in this years event, I said yes. I make a pretty mean red chili that won 1st at a Limited Brands, chili competition a few years ago, but I prefer to make the green for this event. Having lived in the Southwest for many years, I grew very fond of Southwestern food. A good Chili Relleno and Tacos Al Pastor are two of my favorites. By the way, I placed 3rd in the amateur division this year.

As promised, here is my recipe. I have omitted a few ingredients, but this is delicious just the same. I use pork because it is traditional. You may substitute with chicken however.

IMG_20140821_091706_604I begin by removing the outer husk from about 20 Lg. tomatillos, cutting them in half and placing them face down on a cookie sheet in the oven until slightly blackened. Then I put them in the processor and puree, along with the juice. Put the puree in a crock pot or soup pot. Next I roast, peel, and remove the seeds from  20 Poblano peppers and puree them also. Don’t forget to wear gloves. The peppers and tomatillos do not have to be roasted. You can cut them in small pieces and boil the mixture down. Any green chili will work but I prefer the Poblano. Add 1 Qt chicken broth to the puree. Some of the contestants prefer to use homemade chicken stock but I think it overpowers the pork. Bring this to a low boil and then reduce to simmer.

For the meat, I use 5# of pork stew meat that I trim well. Cut the pork into small 1/2 ” cubes, roll in corn flour and brown. Add in 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 diced jalapeno’s, 5 cloves diced garlic and 1 chopped Lg. white onion. when the onions have softened, add to the chili.                                                                                                                       Next we add the seasonings. 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin, 1/2 Tbsp ground coriander, 1/2 Tbsp ground oregano, 1/2 Tbsp fresh cracked pepper, 1/4 tsp ancho powder, 1/2 tsp chipotle flakes and 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro. If you do not like the slightly sour flavor, try adding some brown sugar. I suggest 1 Tbsp. Add salt to your preference. This needs to cook all day and I let mine simmer for three days before I take it to judging. The flavors change so much over time. It is fun to taste and adjust the finished result. I especially enjoy this over eggs. Huevos Rancheros.

IMG_20140826_075806_491Feel free to use your imagination with this and add additional spice, some serrano for more heat, or even potato. Chili Verde can be a main dish or served as a topping over burritos, eggs, you name it. If you have any questions regarding this recipe or if I have forgotten to explain something, please contact me.

As is most of the food that I eat, this is a healthy recipe that is nutritious!   In fitness, Bob